Edinburgh Bookfair: ‘Vibrant, engaged, queer, feminist’

In this short reaction piece, a collective member from radical retailer Lighthouse Books comments on the hugely positive takeaways from yesterday’s inaugural Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair. The event was standing-room only for many of its talks.

We expected to have a great time — and we did! — but I wasn’t prepared for just how inspired and heartened I would feel afterwards. It comes down to being part of a vibrant, joyous, engaged, queer, feminist, anarchist event in the heart of our community.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the creative, dedicated individuals who made it happen — and to encourage anyone hosting such gatherings in future to take a page out of their book, we certainly will be for Edinburgh’s Radical Book Fair.

This was an event entirely volunteer-run, which provided something truly unique — an immensely welcoming space (even for those of us less used to feeling welcome in a church!) where there was a buzzing exchange of ideas, room to meet/ plan/ coordinate actions that can make the future tangibly better, and from which to take home new books and new perspectives.

Lately there have been a lot of tensions in the feminist movement as most of us turn away from a white, exclusive feminism that dominated the past. It was an unspeakable pleasure to be part of an event whose feminism was concerned with the liberation and empowerment of all those oppressed and marginalised by the capitalist, patriarchal world we live in.

This was a beautiful, powerful, inclusive and unapologetic feminism — and people flocked to it. From 11am-6pm the Augustine Church was full of conversation and laughter, of new encounters and meetings of old comrades. People streamed in and out of the events and then sat around in circles around main hall unpicking what they had heard, sharing their own stories and experiences and so much more.


Pic: Lighthouse Books at the Edinburgh bookfair yesterday